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Need advice regarding family visiting from England!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi
My cousins are coming to Canada tomorrow for a visit..beginning here and then my mum is driving them to Vancouver where she lives.

My entire family except for me were born "across the pond" and many of us go back frequently.

However, they have never been to Canada and I would like to get them some Canadian unique foods as a little token gift...

I know that when I go to England, I like to pick up my faves like Twiglets and crisps and things.
We don't have many unique foods here and I don't know what else to get them other than Maple Syrup or specialty chips (Old Dutch chips for example are only found locally and are well known in my city for example)

But do any Brits or Canadians (or Americans too!) have any other ideas of things I could present that are unique to North America/Canada?

Or is this an extremely dumb idea???

I even thought of books written by Canadian authors but I don't know (since I do work in a bookstore)..

Any advice or insight would be great!!!

Tx!!
post #2 of 23
we don't get any of your chocolate bars or soft drinks. I cant think of anything else off hand!
post #3 of 23
I can't think of a bunch of things directly Canadian, but you could get them some Cloddhoppers, which is Winnipeg made chocolatey stuff. Mmmmmmm...
http://www.clodhoppers.tv/

How about Hawkins Cheesies? They are Canadian and I don't know if they are sold in the UK or not. They are very unique and crunchy though. There are no imitations that can match them.
http://www.cheezies.com/index3.htm

I can't think of anything else right now.
post #4 of 23
If you're talking other dry snacks that are North American then I would suggest Mr. Christe Swiss Cheese Crackers, Bacon Dippers, Cheese Bits, Cheese Nips, and especially Snyder's Cheddar Cheese Pieces if you can find them. Those are mostly cheese things, but I'm jsut trying to brainstorm.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydroaxe
If you're talking other dry snacks that are North American then I would suggest Mr. Christe Swiss Cheese Crackers, Bacon Dippers, Cheese Bits, Cheese Nips, and especially Snyder's Cheddar Cheese Pieces if you can find them. Those are mostly cheese things, but I'm jsut trying to brainstorm.
Wow, Ryan, You love your cheeeeese.
Kidding!
The clodhoppers and the cheezies are a great idea!!
I will pick some up.
Keep em coming if you have any more..
I'll make them up a gift basket..

Mav: Clodhoppers are chocolate so thanks for the suggestion!
I love penguin bars that we don't get here.
I don't know if English chocolate is better as I don't eat it regularly.

Cheers!
post #6 of 23
How nice that your family is coming to visit! What a great idea for a gift, to give a basket of Canadian goodies. I think a book would be nice, too. If you work at a bookstore, you have the best access!
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I am really excited...and my mum is really excited to drive them to the Coast.
WHen I was last over, I showed them pics of the mountains and the ocean, and they stated, "it must be so nice to live in Canada, always surrounded by mountains and the ocean".

I live on the Prairies where you can watch your cat run away for 3 days

SO I laughed at this..They didn't understand as they thought Canada was all mountains, lakes, and oceans.

They called yesterday and were making sure it wasn't still snowing here.
I thought that was cute...They had heard that some part of Canada had some "flurries" and they were worried the plane wouldn't be able to land.

Now, keep in mind it was 26 degrees Celsius (I think about 80 Fahrenheit) yesterday here and I was sitting on a patio at the time, so this was more than funny.

Also, they think its bizarre that my mum would drive them to Vancouver which is about 2000 kms away.
When I visit England, my family thinks its bizarre that I would drive 6 hours to Scotland as its "so far away".

post #8 of 23
Here's a Canadian author book recommendation, Diane Schoemperlen's "In the Language of Love: A Novel in 100 Chapters" (don't be put off by the goopey word love in the title.) I love all her work, but this is a favorite.


From Publishers Weekly
Joanna is a collage artist, an appropriate calling for the protagonist of one of the finest montages of language to head south from Canada since Margaret Atwood's Surfacing. In her first novel, Schoemperlen (author of The Man of My Dreams, 1990, and three other story collections) has taken 100 words from the 1910 Kent-Rosanoff Word Association Test and used each as a chapter title. The result is an elegant pastiche of forms that conveys-in non-chronological free-association-the story of Joanna's everywoman life. Unlike Joanna, who "begins to see her life in sections... so that [except for her parents] none of the characters from one stage leak forward into the next," the narrative bleeds across time: one chapter tells of all the houses Joanna has lived in or has wanted with the three loves of her life. These men are Henry, a guitar-playing truck driver; Lewis, her married lover, an artist who compartmentalized well enough to work on several paintings at once; and Gordon, the man she married. Most poignant, however, perhaps are the vignettes with Joanna's father and son. Widower Clarence seems to take his bitter wife's death as "the end of possibility"; Joanna's young son, Samuel, filters word and meaning with the same nimble clarity as his mother. With this novel, Schoemperlen triumphantly establishes her literary credentials.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loveysmummy
Thanks, I am really excited...and my mum is really excited to drive them to the Coast.
WHen I was last over, I showed them pics of the mountains and the ocean, and they stated, "it must be so nice to live in Canada, always surrounded by mountains and the ocean".

I live on the Prairies where you can watch your cat run away for 3 days

SO I laughed at this..They didn't understand as they thought Canada was all mountains, lakes, and oceans.

They called yesterday and were making sure it wasn't still snowing here.
I thought that was cute...They had heard that some part of Canada had some "flurries" and they were worried the plane wouldn't be able to land.

Now, keep in mind it was 26 degrees Celsius (I think about 80 Fahrenheit) yesterday here and I was sitting on a patio at the time, so this was more than funny.

Also, they think its bizarre that my mum would drive them to Vancouver which is about 2000 kms away.
When I visit England, my family thinks its bizarre that I would drive 6 hours to Scotland as its "so far away".

I think what you're planning is a fantastic idea. Whenever we go to the US we always come back with a suitcase full of the things we like but can't get over here. Mainly soft drinks and candy .

Depending where your family come from, they probably had good reason to ask about the weather - it was 8 degrees Celsius in our part of England yesterday (46 degrees Fahrenheit).

Yep - we'd think it bizarre to drive to Vancouver

Hope you all have a great time.
post #10 of 23
i know what you mean, in australia its quite normal to drive a few hours to get to certain places.
and here people think im crazy for driving to frankfurt which is 2 hours away.. 250 km which isnt much really..
silly europeans
by the way as im going to sicily in two weeks, im getting really excited of filling my suitcase with foods you cant get here
post #11 of 23
poutine!
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Flisssweetpea: They are from Oxford but I don't what the weather is like there right now...Likely rainy but lush and green..ahhhhh..I miss lush..

And Fran, Yeah, I guess if they think driving to London an hour away is the farthest you need to go, then i can understand why they think its bizarre! But the good thing about Canada is that they won't be bored, as its so vast and the landscape changes dramatically from province to province....wheat and mustard fields, barns, flllllllllllllllaaaaaaaat...then hilly foothills, valleys and badlands, then moutains, and lakes and then finally OCEAN!!! .... And my mum has a convertible so I think they will be thrilled..But will likely be nervous around those mountain curvy roads, I imagine..!

Poutine? Kellye? Great idea..I love poutine too, but its the best in Montreal...
and it may get soggy in a gift basket

Cheers!
post #13 of 23
How about beer? English love beer

When I was in Canada I think I drank mostly Molsten Dry (sp). That was good and I'm sure any beer would be fine
post #14 of 23
What about a good quality T-shirt/sweatshirt with Canada/Canadian images or Roots on it. I know our daughter's boyfriend from Italy loves the Roots stuff and wants to go shopping specially for it when he visits. The Olympic games put them on the map!
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexa
How about beer? English love beer

When I was in Canada I think I drank mostly Molsten Dry (sp). That was good and I'm sure any beer would be fine
Thanks for the suggestion..
I was thinking of a good local dark ale brewed in Winnipeg as well...
Just so you know, Molson Dry is one of our generic more bland lagers but you didn't know that so its ok!

A good relatively inexpensive lager if you ever come back is
Alexander Keith's (brewed on the East Coast and one of my faves)
Whoohoo!!

We also sell alot of beers from the UK like Guinness etc..But I hear its not the same here...

Thanks for the continued suggestions guys, this is great!!!
I have picked up the Clodhoppers and cheezies and chips and fudge but have a few more things to get before tonight..
I got called into work so have to dash to the store after!
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
What about a good quality T-shirt/sweatshirt with Canada/Canadian images or Roots on it. I know our daughter's boyfriend from Italy loves the Roots stuff and wants to go shopping specially for it when he visits. The Olympic games put them on the map!

Also a good idea...But my sister used to manage a Roots and she is getting them clothing relating things and I am doing the food thing..

But Roots is so Canadian and a very good suggestion!
post #17 of 23
This may sound silly, but how about a few of your local newspapers? I know I always enjoy reading the newspaper wherever I vacation to find out more about the area.
post #18 of 23
Heheheeh a Tim Horton's take home care package:-) (VBG)! - although that may only be Eastern Canada - I haven't been west since 1979 so I don't know.

Some good Canadian authors might include some of Farley Mowat's books. THere is an excellent book put out by the Canadian Government that you can get through Public Works Canada called "The Symbols of Canada" - call your MP's office - he/she will know what you are talking about and should be able to order you in some copies possibly at the MP's reduced rate - they are around $10 each otherwise. T-shirts or clothing with the Canadian flag or Maple leaf on them - visit your local tourist information office for ideas about things which are unique not just to Canada but to where you live as well. There may be a good picture heavy book about your community or samples of products made or grown in your locale. I know some areas of northern Ontario and Manitoba have small cloth bags of wild rice; pacific coast salmon is available in BC packaged and processed for safe shipping; and of course, the old standby- Maple Syrup.

Have fun!

Kathryn
(a transplanted Canadian)
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loveysmummy
Thanks for the suggestion..
I was thinking of a good local dark ale brewed in Winnipeg as well...
Just so you know, Molson Dry is one of our generic more bland lagers but you didn't know that so its ok!

A good relatively inexpensive lager if you ever come back is
Alexander Keith's (brewed on the East Coast and one of my faves)
Whoohoo!!

We also sell alot of beers from the UK like Guinness etc..But I hear its not the same here...

Thanks for the continued suggestions guys, this is great!!!
I have picked up the Clodhoppers and cheezies and chips and fudge but have a few more things to get before tonight..
I got called into work so have to dash to the store after!
Beer! How could I forget! Maybe it's because I don't drink very often. Get some Fort Garry Pale or Fort Garry Dark Ale. Two Rivers Red is also good. They are both brewed in Winnipeg too.

Then there's Farmer's Sausage from Winkler, (just an hour away from here) but that would have to be refridgerated.
post #20 of 23
Oh I love the roots gear! I have a canadian boy called Justin in my class and everything he owns is roots!
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks again guys!!

I got the beer, and a wide assortment of Canadian food goodies and my sister got them everything humanly possible with the Canadian flag on it...

They thought it was all "brilliant"!! and the BBQ last night was alot of fun and laughs.

They are going to their first hockey game tonight..They are football (ie, soccer) fans so it should be interesting!!

Thanks for all your help!
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loveysmummy
Flisssweetpea: They are from Oxford but I don't what the weather is like there right now...Likely rainy but lush and green..ahhhhh..I miss lush..
Probably not much different from London then... Oxford is about 50 miles from London. To give you an idea of the weather, atm it is cloudy with bright spells and the odd shower! It was raining all last week and really, really windy! That's todays weather forecast for you! hehe
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks Gilly! They are here now...It was windy and chilly here yesterday too so they feel at home .
It will be sunny and nice for them today though....They are a bit lagged still but that will go away soon..

Cheers!
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